Despite his feeble denials, Donald Trump is a racist. It’s in his DNA.
His daddy, Fred Trump, was arrested at a Ku Klux Klan riot in New York City in 1927. Father and son were both sued by the federal government twice in the 1970’s for refusing to rent apartments to Black people. In the 1990’s Donald Trump took out full page ads in New York newspapers calling for the death penalty for the “Central Park Five,” a group of Black and Hispanic teens accused and convicted of raping a White woman. After spending years in jail, all five were exonerated by DNA evidence. Yet, Trump’s bloodlust never wavered, he still believes those young men should have been put to death.
Subsequently, there has been bitherism, `Mexican rapists’ and Charlottesville added to Trump’s pantheon of racist episodes.
The great Maya Angelou once said, “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”
So, last week when Trump disparaged Haitians and referred to African nations as, “sh*thole countries,” he already had me at the Central Park Five.
Sean Yoes (Courtesy Photo)
Obviously, Donald Trump is a racist.
Yet, there are too many White Americans who don’t come to the same conclusion and probably never will.
America’s racist right wing has perfected a simple, but insidious defense of racist behavior; maybe it should be called racism denial derangement syndrome. One of the best examples of this foolishness occurred right here in Maryland in 2013 during the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), held at of all places, The National Harbor in Prince George’s County, the wealthiest Black county in America.
That year, one of the panels was titled, “Trump the Race Card: Are You Sick and Tired of Being Called a Racist and You Know You’re Not One.” I suspect the title was seen as a pithy play on Trump’s position as king of the birther movement, but it turned out to be a serendipitous instance of foreshadowing. Nevertheless, the discussion was moderated by K. Carl Smith, a Black man and self-described, “Frederick Douglass Republican.”
At one point during the discussion Smith said, “When Douglass came through slavery…he wrote a letter a letter to his former slave master and said: `I forgive you for all the things you did to me.’” And that is when Scott Terry, allegedly a former student at Towson University, interjected, “For giving him shelter and food for all those years?”
Other Whites gathered for the forum gasped in horror, while Smith, the so-called, Frederick Douglass Republican and the only Black person in sight, calmly tried to deescalate the situation.
Terry attended the CPAC conference with Matthew Heimbach, the White nationalist who founded the White Student Union at Towson University (Heimbach was also the tough White boy who shoved a young Black woman protester at a Trump rally in Louisville, Ky., in March 2016).
The point is, even the most virulent racist, when deploying the denial derangement tactic, will find a willing Black or Blacks to provide cover.
On Jan. 12, the day after he made the sh*thole countries comment, Trump had the audacity to deliver a speech and sign a proclamation honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during a White House event.
And as he has often done in the past, Trump turned to his ever loyal, yet shrinking, circle of White House Negroes, comforting as Mammy’s bosom in times of racial strife. Among them was Uncle Ben Carson, Trump’s secretary of HUD. There was also Isaac Newton Farris, Jr., Dr. King’s nephew (just to add more insult to injury).Then there was Trump’s enforcer, the right Rev. Darrell Scott, of Cleveland.
When White House reporter April Ryan (a proud Baltimore native) said, “Mr. President, are you a racist?” It was Scott who answered, “no,” in defense of his president. Then, when Ryan replied, “I wasn’t talking to you.” Scott immediately scoffed, “Well, I was talking to you.”
Just before Trump exited the room, there was Paris Dennard, the Black conservative commentator, who appeared to whisper sweet nothings into Trump’s ear as he embraced him.
Perhaps, he said something like, `Hug me Mr. President, dat way dat mean ol fake news can’t call you a racist no mo.’
Then Trump exited leaving Ryan’s question unanswered.
But, the truth is everybody knows the answer to Ryan’s question, even if they want to deny it.
Sean Yoes is the AFRO’s Baltimore editor and host and executive producer of the AFRO First Edition video podcast, which airs Monday and Friday on the AFRO’s Facebook page.